Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity

Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity

James C. Cobb


From the 17th century Cavaliers and Uncle Tom's Cabin to Civil Rights museums and contemporary conflicts over the accomplice flag, here's a terrific portrait of southern id, served in an enticing combination of background, literature, and pop culture. during this insightful e-book, written with dry wit and sharp perception, James C. Cobb explains how the South first got here to be seen--and then got here to determine itself--as a quarter except the remainder of America.

As Cobb demonstrates, the legend of the aristocratic Cavalier origins of southern planter society was once nurtured by way of either northern and southern writers, basically to be challenged by means of abolitionist critics, black and white. After the Civil conflict, defeated and embittered southern whites integrated the Cavalier delusion into the cult of the "Lost Cause," which provided the emotional strength for his or her decided campaign to rejoin the Union on their lonesome phrases. After international struggle I, white writers like Ellen Glasgow, William Faulkner and different key figures of "Southern Renaissance" in addition to their African American opposite numbers within the "Harlem Renaissance"--Cobb is the 1st to teach the powerful hyperlinks among the 2 movements--challenged the recent South creed by way of asking how the grandiose imaginative and prescient of the South's previous will be reconciled with the dismal fact of its current. The Southern self-image underwent one other sea swap within the wake of the Civil Rights circulation, while the top of white supremacy shook the previous definition of the "Southern approach of life"--but whilst, African american citizens started to study their southern roots extra overtly and include their local, in addition to racial, identification. because the millennium became, the South faced a brand new id main issue as a result of worldwide homogenization: if Southern tradition is all over the place, has the recent South develop into the No South?

Here then is a huge paintings through one among America's most interesting Southern historians, a magisterial synthesis that mixes wealthy scholarship with provocative new insights into what the South skill to southerners and to the USA in addition.

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